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RIACHUELO, the first Brazilian SCORPENE submarine, was launched on 14 December at the Itaguaí naval base in the presence of both the President and the President-elect of the Federal Republic. The boat will commence sea trials next year and be delivered to the Navy in 2020, with delivery of boats 2, 3 and 4 following on a drumbeat of 12-18 months.

The Brazilian-French partnership that has given birth to the RIACHUELO stems from the 2009 contract with Naval Group to design and transfer the technology for four SCORPENE boats and to design and assist in the manufacture of the non-nuclear portion of Brazil’s first nuclear-powered submarine. The contract also included support for the construction of a naval base and a shipyard in Brazil. The latter is being built by a Brazilian company, Construtora Norberto Odebrecht (CNO), based on Naval Group specifications and on the French group’s experience in the design, production engineering and in-service support of submarines.

Since 2012, Naval Group has done considerable work to identify, select, negotiate with and qualify Brazilian service providers in order to feed the supplier database for equipment or products supplied by Naval Group to the Brazilian Navy and to qualify local suppliers for the Navy’s future needs.

This work enables the Brazilian Navy to place greater reliance on a sovereign industrial base and simultaneously enables the Brazilian industrial ecosystem to access new markets by promoting its

‘Naval Group’ and ‘Brazilian Navy’ references. Finally, Itaguaí Construções Navais (ICN) will be able to call on this panel of suppliers for its own development as part of the future maintenance and support services for the submarines.

RIACHUELO is the first of four SCORPENE-class submarines to be built in Brazil and will begin sea trials next year with an anticipated delivery to the Brazilian Navy of 2020. (Photo: Naval Group)

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